Ezekiel Kemboi is one of the most succesful and mercurial Kenyan athletes. That he is moving to the roads should surprise no one. Ezekiel wants to excel, and his desire to win is huge.
This story is from Justin Lagat, our man in Iten.
The wait for Ezekiel Kemboi to move from the steeplechase to the marathon is almost over:
Ezekiel Kemboi is popularly known as the king of the 3000m steeplechase, having won two Olympic gold and four world championship gold medals, among many other great victories on the track. He has achieved almost everything that any athlete would ever dream of ever achieving in their lives.
“What I am happy about with my career in the track is that I have already won the Olympic title, the world title, and the Commonwealth Games’ title,” Kemboi told a local media in Kenya recently. “If it was soccer, this would be equal to winning a world cup.”
However, it is not the end of the road for Kemboi. This will be another special year for him and his fans as he finally debuts to the marathon distance at the Hamburg marathon on the 28th of April.
With his impressive credentials on the track, many fans will be eager to see how Kemboi will perform in the 42.2km distance. He knows that many are watching and waiting to see him do that and could be the reason why he has taken him some time before finally making the move. He knew that he had to do a number of long runs, which he has been doing since last year, till he could feel comfortable enough to make the announcement. Now that he has finally revealed that he is heading to Hamburg shows that he is finally ready to run well in the marathon.
Given that Kemboi has never recorded an official time in the half marathon makes it quite hard to guess how fast he is going to run in his debut. His personal best time for the 10km which he ran in 2011 is 28:38. It seems like the time he is going to run here will be a complete surprise to many.
Besides their names having the same initials, E.K., Kemboi and Eliud Kipchoge have a lot more in common. They both featured prominently and for their first times in 2003 at the IAAF world championships in Paris where Kipchoge had won the 5,000m title while Kemboi had settled for Silver in the 3,000m steeplechase. They came into the limelight almost at the same time.
Kemboi will be making his marathon debut at the same marathon that Kipchoge did in 2013, setting a new course record of 2:05:30. Five years later, the course record still stands and perhaps Kemboi will be the one to set a new one on his debut. Time will tell.
As he embarks on his marathon career, Kemboi already has plans on what he will wish to do once he retires from running. His ambition is to work with the athletes in the future since thinks that he understands what the athletes have been going through and what needs to be improved.
“I want to be the president of Athletics Kenya one day,” said Kemboi.